There was a survey conducted in the UK recently among 2,000 Business Owners, the majority of participants (more than three-quarters of them) were aged between 31 and 60 years, and it has found that contrary to stereotypical perceptions of entrepreneurs as risk-taking mavericks, they are, in fact, more prudent and risk-averse than the general public.
It seems that business owners working alone are more carefree, intense and spontaneous than those working in partnerships, making them more flexible in their decision-making. By contrast, those working in partnerships are more likely to be wary, prudent and composed.
Despite the seemingly conservative approach taken by entrepreneurs, the research found that people who are calm, confident, optimistic, organised, methodical and measured have greater financial resources and may, therefore, make more successful small-business owners.
The survey concluded there are 9 types of entrepreneur –
SPONTANEOUS – Impulsive and attracted to risk, but distressed if things go wrong. They are emotional and react strongly to disappointment.
INTENSE – Anxious and emotive. They invest passionately in people and projects but, haunted by the fear of disappointment, this may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
WARY – Anxious about risk but well organised, this risk type puts security high on their agenda. Vigilant in identifying risk before appreciating potential benefits, they fear that however well it worked for others, things may go wrong for them.
PRUDENT – Systematic, and conforming. Conservative and conventional, they prefer routine to variety, like operating within familiar procedures and prefer change to be gradual and evolutionary. Generally cautious about new ventures, they find reassurance in sticking to what they know.
DELIBERATE – Calm and self-confident, they experience little anxiety. Any lack of risk awareness is balanced by a desire to do things in a planned and systematic way.
COMPOSED – Self-confident. Cool-headed, calm and unemotional, their outlook will always be optimistic and untroubled. These people take everything in their stride, seem quite imperturbable and appear to manage stress very well.
ADVENTUROUS – Impulsive but fearless. They combine a deeply constitutional calmness with impulsiveness and a disregard for custom, tradition or convention. They are cool and seemingly oblivious to risk.
CAREFREE – Daring, prepared to challenge convention and to make decisions ‘on the fly’. They enjoy challenges in fast-moving situations but are impatient with repetitive tasks or working to prescribed routines. Conceptually innovative and distractible, they are not great with details.
TYPICAL – They show none of the extremes that characterise other types. They are unexceptional, predictable and similar to most other people. They base their attitude towards risk firmly on their own specific experiences.
I am concluding from this survey that no-one is ‘immune’ from becoming an entrepreneur, now there’s a lovely thought…